AFTRS revives broadcast training with Sony

07 June, 2012 by IF

Press release from Peter White

The Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) has revived its television broadcast training programme with the launch in Sydney of Studio 2, a dedicated studio refurbished with a full complement of Sony HD equipment.


The initiative for broadcast training arose from research conducted by AFTRS within the industry to see if there was a role for training.

“We researched over 40 production companies and broadcasters to understand their requirements and the resounding response was that they wanted us to provide broadcast training,” said Tim Sadler, Director, Technology & Infrastructure at AFTRS.

“We were told that existing training schemes ensured there was no shortage of people who could push buttons but the big challenge was finding people who could craft using broadcast tools and elevate the quality of the finished product – which is what AFTRS is about. At all levels we teach students how to tell stories.

“To respond appropriately we decided to upgrade parts of our television system as the vision side had older, standard definition equipment that was still working but no longer relevant in today’s industry.”

AFTRS put the challenge to competitive tender and selected Sony to supply and install a full range of studio and control room equipment.

“To be relevant AFTRS needs equipment that is recognised by the industry and there are only a few players in the high-end broadcast equipment market.” explained Sadler.

Sony equipment installed includes …
Studio 2 control room:
MVS-7000X vision switcher with four mix/effects rows
RCP-1500 remote control panels
MSU-1500 – master setup unit for camera configuration and maintenance
1 x BVM-F250 OLED reference monitor for technical quality control
1 x PVM-1741 OLED monitor for utility monitoring.

Studio 2:
4 x HSC-300 portable HD/SD cameras
1 x PVM-2541 OLED lighting monitor
3 x BRAVIA KDL-40EX520 40” floor monitors

Web streaming control room:
MCS-8M compact multi-format switcher with built-in audio mixer and frame synchroniser.

Multiple options
The existing AFTRS studio infrastructure was based on triax cabling and Sony was able to fully utilise this using the HSC-300 cameras, which feature digital triax operation.

“Flexibility is the name of game for AFTRS as we literally want to be able to do any type of programme in any format,” added Sadler. “Primarily our TV training is aimed at factual projects which broadly cover magazine, panel, interview and and game shows but we want to be able to juggle our operations to suit the type of show the students are working on. We want to be able to grow the system and be able to use it in new ways that the industry isn't doing now. We encourage risk taking from a creative perspective so students can try out new ideas. So the more flexible I can make the infrastructure and technology, the more I can support any idea that comes up as opposed to enforcing a particular way of working.

“The main control room is physically attached to Studio 2 but it’s fully integrated with all of our studio facili-ties so we can put anything anywhere and run it all from the control room. We could feasibly put a chamber orchestra recording in Studio 1, a live audience with a television magazine set in Studio 2, and sports in Studios 3 and 4 and pipe it all into the control room and mix it live.“

Sadler is delighted AFTRS has been able to obtain Sony’s new MVS-7000X production switcher. The school is one of the first Australian sites for the new generation switcher and students can take advantage of its ability to re-configure a single processor board to provide multiple mix/effects rows.

Additional flexibility is provided by the MCS-8M compact switcher in the web streaming control room. The all-in-one high-performance switcher can be used to control or stream sound and vision from Studio 2 or it can easily be moved on location for outside broadcast training.

Installation flexibility delivers results
Sony’s Custom Solutions & Systems Division completed the supply and integration of equipment for AFTRS. The team displayed its versatility by including an EVS XS video production server that provides a reliable and flexible transition path to tapeless production in a studio environment.

“The Sony team were on onsite for two months and worked in a professional manner to meet an aggressive schedule that required complete installation by the end of April,” said Sadler.

“Since then we have used Studio 2 to run a TV Presenting: Advanced Skills course and due to the fantastic response this course has been scheduled again in August. We will also run our first Multi-camera Studio Director course in September.

“The new studio has also been used for green screen and chromakeying workshops as part of our regular award courses. The response has been very positive and everyone is enjoying using the new equipment.”